As the curtain is slowly peeled back on Star Wars: The Last Jedi with the posting of new photos of the cast, some more details have been revealed about exiled Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. The original trilogy protagonist, of course, has been the subject of much speculation given his limited role in the sequel trilogy thus far. Luke didn't appear in The Force Awakens until the very last scene, with Rey discovering him on the remote world Ahch-to. In general, Lucasfilm has kept Skywalker's post-Return of the Jedi exploits under wraps, and many are eager to see Luke factor heavily into the narrative of Episode VIII.
In a somewhat meta twist, even the characters in Star Wars movies are sharing their own rumors and theories about what became of Luke. Han Solo, Luke's closest friend, claimed he was searching for the first Jedi Temple, though Han seemed somewhat unsure of that. As it turns out, the Corellian smuggler was right on the money, and Luke's mission is to uncover the location of that Temple, which is on Ahch-to.
Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson spoke with Vanity Fair for their cover story on the upcoming blockbuster, sharing what he could about Luke's mysterious ways. Though he was quite brief, the filmmaker did confirm Luke is indeed searching out the first Jedi Temple on Ahch-to and he hasn't been hanging out on the planet in complete isolation. Apparently, Skywalker has been calling a "Jedi village" consisting of "beehive-shaped huts" home for the past number of years and is in the company of "an indigenous race of caretaker creatures." Johnson could only say that they are "not Ewoks" (meaning Luke does not have a therapy Ewok by his side), but recent reports have indicated these could be cute, bird-like animals called porgs.
Outside of Luke's shocking proclamation that it's time for the Jedi to end, official materials on him have been short, so viewers have relied on rumors as they bide their time for the December premiere (or a full length trailer). Based on the word he has brought with him a compass, backpack, and walking stick to the planet, it would appear Skywalker will embark on some kind of Lord of the Rings-esque quest to find the Temple, perhaps training Rey in the ways of the Force as the two journey across Ahch-to and learn whatever secrets the Temple possesses. Canon novels have made mention Luke is looking for the "lore of the Jedi," so he will surely be interested in whatever is on the planet. Time will tell, but right now it seems that will be one major storyline in The Last Jedi while the Resistance and First Order continue their fight.
J.J. Abrams' decision to reduce Luke to a wordless cameo in Force Awakens seems to have paid off, as it allowed Johnson to take the baton and really explore what Skywalker was up to in the 30 years between the original and sequel trilogies. The teaser hinted at receiving more backstory information via Force Visions/flashbacks, and Episode VIII has a layer of mystery to keep both die-hards and casual audiences hooked through the whole advertising campaign just like its predecessor. This new era of Star Wars has been established, but viewers still have much to learn, and the future should be exciting to behold.
Source: Vanity Fair
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019